Punjabi Grocery & Deli Scores Unanimous CB3 Approval for Taxi Relief Stand

Posted on: May 13th, 2015 at 4:45 am by
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For Punjabi Grocery & Deli, the media barrage and resultant public outcry over the last year ultimately proved successful. The Transportation subcommittee of Community Board 3 voted unanimously last night to approve a taxi relief stand at its doorstep. Though, with a caveat. The twenty-year-old pit stop will need to wait just a bit longer.

Punjabi sounded the clarion call, and their faithful following flocked to the Bowery gathering. It was standing room only, packed to the gills with reporters, supporters, and even elected officials (i.e. Rosie Mendez). Lawyer Ali Najmi led the charge, with the momentum of the community behind him. There were no fireworks per se, just a cordial discussion of the facts; namely that cabbies contribute heavily to their bottom line and that anything less than an approval would be detrimental. Everyone finally seemed to be on the same page.

Essentially, as it stands (pun intended), Punjabi remains hostage to the never-ending roadwork along East Houston and the DDC “staging area” out front. But there’s daylight. Completion of the traffic-calming pedestrian plaza is tentatively slated for August, at which point, the cab stand can be realized. (Work resumes next week) Its exact location is a toss-up between East Houston or 1st Street, and requires further investigation by the Department of Transportation. Until then, however, a temporary layover area of four parking spaces is operational around the corner on Avenue A (approximately 150 away).

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Punjabi Deli is a haven for cabbies

As an aside, CB3 also let slip that the DOT is currently considering a future bus stop at this location. Which would certainly explain the apparent resistance to the East Houston locale.

The green light was unanimous, and met with a round of applause.

The neighborhood should relish the small victory for this beloved mom-and-pop. Yet the chances of roadwork actually wrapping by summer’s end seems unlikely. Especially considering the overall capital works project is itself over two years behind schedule.

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